Smith's Liabilities At $40.7 Million


FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach John L. Smith’s financial troubles are deeper than first reported.

Amended bankruptcy documents filed in federal court Wednesday shows Smith has $40.7 million in liabilities and $1.3 million in assets. Smith originally reported $25.7 million in liabilities and $1.2 million in assets in documents on Sept. 19.

The change in liabilities appears to be reflected in and additional $15 million owed to Branch Banking and Trust in Louisville, Kent.

The debt is Smith’s second-largest next to the $20 million owed to Terra Springs, LLC.

“Don't know the exact amount of debt, but is in excess of $15 million," the amended filing said. "This debt may have been sold to others."

Documents filed Wednesday also show Smith cashed in a joint annuity with Fidelity worth $141,715 in August. The documents show split the annuity 50-50 with his wife and used his half to pay attorney fees, taxes and other bills. The rest went into his Signature Bank checking account, which now contains $22,011.98.

Smith’s financial troubles came from land deals from his time as Louisville’s coach (1998-2002) that turned sour. Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said he was aware of Smith’s pending bankruptcy when the coach was hired in April to replace Bobby Petrino. His 10-month Arkansas contract pays him $850,000.

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau